Monday, September 13, 2010

A detailed briefing on the Floods in Pakistan and the Needed Relief Effort

My friend Nadia Afrin of the Development Gateway Foundation has conducted this two part interview with the Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States.

Ambassador Hussain Haqqani on Pakistan Flood (Part 1)

Ambassador Hussain Haqqani on Pakistan Flood: Part II

There are an estimated 20 million people in Pakistan who are displaced by the floods. Most of them will not be able to return to their homes quickly, a large number will not have homes to return to at all. It has been estimated that 1500 people died immediately during the flooding. Tragically, a lot of people will die in the next few weeks and months from diseases related to the flooding and to the problems of maintaining good hygiene in refugee camps and damaged villages and neighborhoods. More will probably die as a result of hunger and malnutrition in a country that has lost a major part of its crops and the communication and transportation infrastructure to more food from the ports to those who will need it. Indeed, others will die due to the damage to the health service infrastructure, which was weak enough already. Still more will die over the long run due to poverty, a poverty that will be worse due to the destruction caused by the flooding. Death and disease are only the most extreme forms of the damage that will accrue to people who have lost their property and their chances for a better life.

The Ambassador states in these interviews that those who don't want to donate to the Pakistani government can help by donating to UN agencies and/or non-governmental organizations. That seems a wise piece of advice.

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